Going Part-Time Ruined My Career

Back a couple of years, my career was high priority. I progressed through the ranks with reasonable speed, and all the confidence in the world at that time. All was good in my corporate world.

Then everything changed.

We started our family & after 37.5 weeks of growing my bump while managing a team, carrying high responsibility & enjoying my professional career, it was time for maternity leave.

Maternity leave was the best time of my life, loving every second of being a mother & watching my beautiful daughter grow. There was no way I could give that up and return to my previous life.

I returned to work when my daughter was exactly 6 months old. It was heartbreaking, yet made easier by the fact that my work had been extremely supportive towards my return to work.

With a husband on late shift, work supported my return part time with 2PM finishes. Home before hubby left and eliminating the need to day care. It felt better knowing she had one or both parents all the time. And the cost of child care in Australia is hefty, sometimes making you not much better off if you didn’t work at all.

As my role was junior management, they went with a job share model bringing in a person a few years off retirement. He was challenging but I had my share well & truly under control. After 6 months, they decided the nature of the role needed a full time face & changed things.

This was frustrating as it suggested my failure, yet the issues were with other staffing areas. They put pressure on me to resume full time. I wasn’t ready…

So instead they split the role & divided the areas of responsibility. The other person went full time. I had half the work & the team was exceeding targets & performing exceptionally well, as always.

All the while my manager since my return was putting pressure on & suggesting things were a struggle. She didn’t know me before maternity leave & suddenly was in control of my fate.

Where it stands now, she’s again suggested it isn’t working… That the staff feel unsupported. All due to a conflict with the team & the person who has taken over half my role. Apparently this is my poor management & not his poor people skills & unrealistic expectations.

What I do know is there’s nothing wrong with my work. The fact that my team is one of the highest performing in the centre isn’t acknowledged. It’s just another excuse to eliminate the part time baggage they don’t want to deal with.

No such thing as loyalty in the big corporate world.

It would take a fool now to see the blatant attempt to encourage me to move during the most recent meeting. ‘Time to access what’s most important – motherhood perhaps?’. Of course it is, but it doesn’t mean I don’t need a job.

If only the worlds most important job – parenting – was a paid job!

But it’s not and I’m not giving up my mummy-daughter days. I guess I just strap myself in for the bumpy ride ahead, with more attempts to have my hours increased, my achievements minimised and my stress levels soaring.

None of this would be the case if I’d chosen against motherhood… Or gone back full time. Apparently putting such high value on family is a bad employee trait & the perfect way to ruin your career … But worth it!

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14 thoughts on “Going Part-Time Ruined My Career

  1. 1. Society has made strives to value a parent’s life, but it’s definitely not perfect yet. I had a boss who couldn’t understand why I wanted to take off two weeks after my first daughter was born. I know how you feel about not wanting to return after your maternity leave!

    2. No industry should make a parent who wants work/life balance feel as if they’re doing something wrong. I have friends caught up in the grind of demanding jobs, and I wonder, is it worth it? Why victimize a parent for wanting that balance?

    3. Ultimately, it’s the business world’s loss for not becoming more flexible. I can’t imagine a type I’d want to work closely with more than a mother. Talk about someone who has a proven track record of above-and-beyond work ethic and problem solving. But her on my team every time.

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  2. Ugh, it’s a crime how unsupportive the modern workscape is for parents. I wish you the best in this struggle. I always try to imagine myself years from now when faced with decisions and situations that will change the status quo–in 30 years, what will I regret more? Not spending more time with my kid, or forgoing professional opportunities? That’s really what matters–everything will fall into place around what you choose to prioritize!

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  3. I went through similar, in the end after trying to get back into my successful career, being part time just didn’t cut it on the corporate ladder. I resigned and now feel a release of anxiety, and have realized success is not about a job, it’s about being happy and healthy and accepting that I really do have the luckiest job in the world – being a mum. No it doesn’t pay well financially but it’s rewards are worth so much more. β™‘

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    • I hear ya. Motherhood makes every other job look unworthy… it’s just the mortgage and bills that demand something more sometimes. We aren’t quite at a stage where I can throw it in yet as tempting as it is. But I also won’t sacrifice being home as often as I am to make work happy. 5 days a fortnight is more than enough to be away from home working.

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      • That’s right being home unfortunately doesn’t pay the bills but we shouldn’t be punished for wanting family balance. And besides it’s heathly to have a bit of part time interaction with work colleagues rather than kids 24/7 I think I am a better parent after a little time out each week. I hope thinks work out for you x

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